Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunesbringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
This section of the website has tunes taken from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Asociation (RSPBA) prescribed tune list.
If you learn these tunes, there will be a large number of people you can be sure to find tunes in common with.
The RSPBA update their list from time to time and the versions here followed their original published versions, pending updates in due course.
These videos show the music and you can hear midi generated tracks where the rhythm of the gracenotes and embellishments is maintained in proper interprative proportion. You should try to feel the rhythm and also count it out exactly. Start with the fastest files and as you get better, go to the slower files, as this is a true measure of your security of technique.
Each file is given at two pitches, A and B flat. This reflects the different practice chanter tunings commonly found. Please scroll down to what you need (site updated for smart phone and tablets)
The exercises below are chosen to help with some particular trickiness in each tune.
Videos to play along with
For more information on how to use these midi files please follow the link on the left.
Five discussion points
1 Bar 1 throw - the D and C in the throw are the same length as each other, giving a heavy effect, necessary to highlight all of the fine rhythmical detail in this tune.
2 Bar 1 G gracenote to E - this closes on the E and is a very short gracenote - only a 64th note...The preceding F is a dotted 32nd note.
3 Bar 1 the E in the last beat is a 16th note. Again, the preceding G gracenote closes on the beat.
4 Bar 2/bar3 strike on E - the strike comes up on the beat, which means it comes down before the beat. The last quarter of this beat is divided into a triplet and the proportion is 2:1, meaning the E is in the time if 'tripel' and the low A in the time of 'et'. Listen carefully to the slow midi files. This can justifiably be interepreted in different ways - this way has been chosen to create rhythmical variety, and to be consistent with rhythmical actions later on (bar 8).
5 Bar 8 first throw is in the rhythm indicated for the strike on E in bar1/bar2. This means the low G is the last third of a triplet and opens on the beat. The second throw however, has a longer low G, as it is needed to give emphasis to the first beat of the bar that is coming up. This second low G is a full 32nd note. The difference is minimal but it does make a difference.
Five exercises (please keep coming back until this is fully updated)